This evening we went to Mass at the Cathedral in Brussels for a change - Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnes Dei sung in Latin, the rest of the Mass a pretty even split between French and Dutch. I'll never get used to the way they give half the sermon in each language (bizarrely, de Lubac was quoted in a language I understand at near-native level, but Newman wasn't).
The Cardinal, flanked by half a dozen bishops and/or monseigneurs (I'm none too clear just who gets to wear a ?purple skullcap), offered the Mass in celebration of the anniversary of the present pope's election, 4 years ago tomorrow. I've never seen so many children in a Belgian church all at once. The bidding prayers were all explicitly for various papal intentions; the sermon (what I could make of it, between the children's noise and the cardinal's total inability to project his voice) dwelt briefly on St Catherine of Siena as a model of loyalty to the papal office.
My bad hand is throbbing from trying (and failing) to control fractious children. Still, number two son was quite in awe of the massive sword that the nave's statue of St Paul wields; and number two daughter quite liked the tiny St Michael casting down a dragon-shaped demon, carved into the wood of the main door.
Just this morning I had a JW at the door disputing my explication of Low Sunday's Gospel - and I thought they didn't "keep days"? It's a day of special importance to me, figuring in the choice of my first child's name (and if you were wondering, he isn't called Quasimodo).